31 monsterWe two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since days of long ago
 - Robert Burns (Scottish poet)

We’re home again! And guess who was waiting for us on the beach? Nessie!
He swam all the way here! On a Dutch news site (nu.nl) I read that they want to do DNA testing for the presence of the monster of Loch Ness. It’s no longer necessary!

What a warm welcome err... weather we got today! Twelve degrees hotter then yesterday in Newcastle. It was like half of the Netherlands went to the coast. What a traffic! In the larger resorts we had to endure bicycle traffic jams.

In Edinburgh I was complaining that I didn’t want to go home and proposed that we go up north again: Aberdeen, Inverness, John o'Groats, the Orknies, the Shetlands, Faeröer islands, Iceland, Greenland, Canada..... etc. But Remy wouldn’t have it. And yet, before I could pout about it, it got easier to go home without as much reluctance as I had before: it got colder at around 12 degrees C, we started of with a strong head wind and the route along the coast got boring apart from a few exceptions (or we got spoiled rotten by the Scottish landscape?) and I resigned to my fate while dreaming about warmer places to go.
Just before the border between Scotland and England we found a place to camp in the wild - it’s illegal in England - and crossed the border near Berwick upon Tweed. Friday it started raining again. Remy had his rain clothes tucked away deep in a pannier, wich I thought was very optimistic, even after ten dry days. And so we cycled into Newcastle in the pouring rain. There it all started a month before at the Hadrian wall....
Newcastle was founded around two centuries AD by the Roman emperor Hadrian where the wall which carries his name ends. Saturday - the weather was great - we visited Segedunum, the first settlement along the wall and so the circle was closed.

 

A look into our world

32 fietsenEver wondered about what we drag up and down the hills and around the country?
Here’s a small tour of our panniers:

Remy’s bicycle

  • Divided between the rear panniers: kitchen, toolbox, electronics, shoe closet, 2 comfortable chairs, supply of whisky
  • On top: tiny house with solar panels. Sometimes clothes left to dry
  • Front pannier on the right: clothing rack for Remy
  • Front pannier on the left: clothing rack for Gea
  • Pannier on the handlebar: vault with valuables and library with books
  • Cockpit: GPS and bicycle computer

Gea's bicycle

  • Divided between the rear panniers: linen closet, bathroom, beds
  • Yellow bag on top: Supply closet, kitchen cabinet, wine cellar, attic, sometimes clothes to dry on top of it
  • During this trip we bought one set of front panniers to hold extra food and slippers. Up to two days. Extra supply room
  • Pannier on the handlebar: content of your average ladies purse (= i.e. pocket knife, USB cables, multi tool)
  • Cockpit: GPS and bicycle computer, map, an occasional phone

And for the alert readers: that’s right, with me the saddle has most of the weight and with Remy most of the weight is on the rear baggage carrier. This way we have everything evenly divided between us...

Afterword

In the meantime my family has an argument about which ingredients were used by my grandparents for balkenbrij. One of my uncles even said he was prepared to fight it out. Let’s hope it doesn’t end in balkenbrij or haggis....

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